The Princess and the Goblin (1872)
George MacDonald (1824-1905) - a Scottish Victorian novelist - was well-read and revered by an impressive selection of literary figures. CS Lewis, CK Chesterton, JRR Tolkien, Madeleine L'Engle and Mark Twain (who apparently initially disliked MacDonald but ultimately became his friend) have all cited MacDonald as being a large influence on their own work. His lecturing and views brought him wide recognition and respect. MacDonald wrote over 50 books, including, poetry, novels, short stories, fantasy, sermons and essays. Many of his novels were part autobiographical and focused on his upbringing and life in Scotland.
The prolific author started his career as a clergyman but that was short-lived as some of his views preached from the pulpit were ill received. It was at this time that he switched focus and began to write full time. MacDonald is most famously known for his fantasy novels: The Princess and the Goblin, Lilith, Phantastes and At the Back of the North Wind and his fairy tales such as The Wise Woman, The Light Princess and The Golden Key. MacDonald famously stated that "I write, not for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five." MacDonald can be credited for convincing Lewis Carroll to submit his Alice's Adventures in Wonderland manuscript for publication after sharing the story with MacDonald's children. In return, Carroll - a noted photographer of his time - took pictures of MacDonald's children. The influence MacDonald had on the literary world is immeasurable.
MacDonald passed away in 1905 and interest in his work started to wane and many of his books went out-of-print. At the centenary of his birth in 1924, a brief uptake in interest in his work resulted in some new titles including the first major biography of his life, George MacDonald and His Wife, written by his son, Greville MacDonald.
AbeBooks offers an immense selection of highly collectible copies of George MacDonald's best work.
1. The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke A Study of the Text of the Folio of 1623 - $2,125
First edition in dark green morocco and gilt title. Considered to be one of the scarcest of MacDonald's titles.
2. At the Back of the North Wind - $2,000
First edition, bound in full dark green calf, ribbed gilt decorated spine. Illustrated by Arthur Hughes.
3. Adela Cathcart - $1,760
First edition in original dark brown cloth lettered in gilt. A creative attempt on MacDonald's part to package a collection of short stories in the guise of a novel.
4. The Seaboard Parish in Three Volumes - $1,500
Very good copies in original black cloth, yellow endpapers and gold lettering on spines.
5. Works of Fancy and Imagination - $1,445
Published in London in 1884. In decorative box with gilt title on lid. Complete set of 10 volumes.